Monday, February 28, 2011

KISS Comics


I want to rock and roll all night... not read this crap.

NOTE: Just to nip this in the bud, yes, I mispronounce "Norwich" at the end. Also, yes, it says "Giacomo" and not "Glacomo." I somehow saw it wrong.


Mountain King said...

A KISS comic. A KISS comic, I don't know where to begin.

First of all as a classic rock fan I find that KISS bores me. Sorry it does, to me it's four guys shouting about how great they are as they try to discover a cord. A typical example of marketing over substance.

After seeing the comics here that hasn't changed, in fact its pretty much cemented in my mind. Early Image is a perfect fit for them, in more ways than one. They are more interested in selling an image than music. A good part of that image is the pseudo-religious, Lovecraftian crap that parents wouldn't like. The entire marketing gimmick was how outrageous these makeup wearing musicians were. Ironic when half the band had been fired at one point or another because Gene Simmons is teetotal to the point that he regularly checks his cough medicine.

I know I'm just ranting here, and my critique of their music is rather hypocritical when I can't even hum in tune, but there was nothing in the comics. You could have replaced both with pictures of the band and Adam West era Batman sound effect cards! They'd make as much sense. It might even improve the Image comic because then they might actually be in the damn thing!

I'd like to compliment your review, and it was good. But while most bad comics at least have something so horrendously bad you can marvel at it this was so empty and bland it cold have put me into a coma. I can't imagine how hard it was to write this review with only one reasonably terrible bit of dialogue. At least we got to see 90's Kid in review again, I missed his "DUDDDE" and Todd got a cameo but in the end of the day the whole exercise has left me going "Ughhh".

Now if you excuse me I'm off to listen to Jeff Beck and read fan-fiction, anything to fill the vast void I feel from this "Band"



kara said...

one awesome review of two crappy kiss comics by one awesome guy? it must be my birthday.

Jarkes said...

I have a question that I thought you could answer: Was there ever a Power Rangers in Space comic? If there was, do you plan to review it?

Trevor Frost said...

I tend to agree with you Linkara, I follow songs not bands or artists. I realize this makes me kind of uncool and very unhip by music geek standards.

It's just not where my interests lie. Personally I just don't understand why its supposedly more acceptable by society to be a music geek vs. a comics geek. (Or other geeky things for that matter.)

Anyway the art work while confusing at times for the comics at least seemed interesting. Beyond that yup its pretty much a morass of confusing and pointless storytelling.

Mario said...

That's OK, I forgive you. :)

Mario Di Giacomo

Matt said...

Just a quick note, "God Gave Rock 'n' Roll to You II" is a remake of a 1973 song by Argent. KISS is one of the few bands who would not only make an incredible remake, but change the name around to at least give some credit to the fact that it's an homage.

The original is far less polished and doesn't have the same force, but it still has a nice charm to it.

I just wanted to jump in and post this as a "Did You Know" point of interest before someone had the chance to post it as a flame!

Radar said...

Knights in Santa's Service!

blackmage0_15 said...

Awesome its a long one, though maybe the opening was a little harsh after an excellent summary of the bands history. I love how the artwork in psycho circus is all made for the "Reader's" point of view. It's like a bad actor looking at the camera in my opinion. Since I haven't yet commented, I love 90s kid and I'm glad to see him return! That second comic looked much better too, and you seemed to enjoy it more as well, probably because KISS was actually in it? The second comic KISS 4K, is at least trying to go somewhere, as opposed to the first, which takes no chances. Overall you are very funny as usual, keep it up! I'm sure you hear that often but there it is.

Jeremy A. Patterson said...

I see that you are reviewing a few Malibu Comics soon: I can understand why you are going to review Mantra: The tale of a MALE eternal warrior permanently stuck in a WOMAN'S body may be a bit silly!

Jarkes: There was never a comic book adaptation of PRIS!


TimeTravelerJessica said...

I was totally distracted during this whole review because I was thinking of the reality show Gene Simmons has on A & E. It's so funny because he is actually a pretty normal dad, and he's really overprotective of both kids, and overall seems like a nice (albeit self-centered) guy, totally contrary to his stage persona. But anyways he has like an entire room in his house dedicated to KISS merchandise, and I'm pretty sure this comic is among them. I'm not sure how someone's not embarassed to have the evidence of their attention-whoring around, but hey, it takes all kinds.

Yogurt said...

Ok, who let the Ultimate Warrior write another comic? Look at the go-nowhere prologue of these things, it could only come from someone high on rhino tranquilizers.

Anonymous said...

Oh man, I originally read that second comic as "KISS 40k".

...Now that I think about it, being a Warhammer 40k crossover would explain quite a bit, actually.

Xel Unknown said...

Only wish Todd could've really reviewed these comics with you. But it was sorta worth it for that gag. Todd in the Shadows isn't really a reviewer that I know much of nor really care to go and watch his stuff, I must admit. But yeah. Great review Linkara! :D

NoWave said...

Man, I was hoping you were going to say this to Todd all review, but since you didn't I shall have to. "This from the man who put two katie perry songs in his top 10 of 2010"

ShadowWing Tronix said...

How long did it take you to perfect the fortune teller voice? It's one of your best accents.

Hyosung said...

Microphone sounds much better this week!

The Faustian Man said...

This might be one of your best reviews yet.

And yet, it puzzles me, as you do not even like KISS and are largely ignorant of them as individuals or a band.

Perhaps, you should review other things you don't like or are unknoledgeable of...because this was one good damn review.

Anonymous said...

Oh dude, The KISS Army is gonna come down and tear you to pieces for not even remembering the names of:

Gene Simmons
Paul Stanley
Ace Frehley
Peter Criss

Then there are these members:

Eric Carr
Vinnie Vincent
Mark St. John
Bruce Kulick
Eric Singer
& Tommy Thayer

And if they do come tell them to be gentle on you & by any chance where can I get that Portable Sega Genesis?

Octo7 said...

"if you stare into the abyss..." is a Nietzche quote, one of my favorites. I think it means that, regardless of how objective we try to be, we can become tainted/influenced by observation. But yeah, I don't see how it applies to this comic unless you suddenly felt like getting a tongue extension, or buying a bunch of Kiss merchandise after reading it :D

Marc said...


There have only been (to my knowledge) the MMPR (by Hamilton Comics and then Marvel), Zeo (that one Image Comic), Turbo (made by Acclaim Comics, a renamed Valiant Comics after they were bought out by Acclaim), and then some UK-exclusive comic strips of the Disney-era series (SPD is the one I know of.)

I'm sorry for going with lame pop culture references, but honestly, I think Charlie Sheen's recent outburst filled rants of insanity make much more sense than the two KISS comics reviewed.

Sieg-sama said...

Giacomo is read somewhere like Jack-o-mo.

But it was great to see ShadowTodd. Love that guy.

Also Todd not doing a cover of your theme-song on piano is a missed moment of awesome.

John Pannozzi said...

I can't believe Linkara didn't mention Platinum Studios' connection to Rob Liefeld. Back in the late '90s/early 2000's when Liefeld's Awesome Entertainment went up, Liefeld sold the non-comic rights to the Awesome/Extreme/Maximum Universe charatcers (including Youngblood, Supreme, and Glory).

Random Internet Critic said...

Stop mispronoucing British place names...just kidding, you've only done it twice and your American so you can be forgiven, just.

I find it kind of weird that KISS has lasted this long, not because of the music (IT ROCKS!!) but because of fans. With such marketing and more merchandising than Return of the Jedi, you expect fans of metal or hardcore to not like it because they believe the band has ‘sold out’. I remember a friend of mine saying that Led Zeppelin sold out with In Through the Out Door, I guess all their other albums were completely free.

Shame there was no ‘Batman’s war against rock ‘n’ roll’ jokes.

Jarkes said...

Say... Apparently, there was a Power Rangers Turbo/Beetleborgs Metallix crossover comic (if the credits of the Doctor Who Classics review is to be believed). Now wouldn't it have been interesting to see a REAL crossover between Power Rangers and Beetleborgs?
Oh, wait, there was one. It was called "Forever Red." *rimshot*

Anonymous said...

FINALLY someone who shares my opinions on music! It's rare for me to find a band or artist that I am compelled to follow, and I'm certainly not a walking encyclopedia on them like my brother or Todd In the Shadows. I think you got lucky that the person didn't ask you to do One More Day, though I still love your mini-review in the Top 15 Comics I'll Never Review video.

EinWolf said...

Well, at least they didn't request Gwar comics. I'm pretty sure those exist, and even if they were really good, they'd still be really really awful.

I also have such a new respect for your ability to get out some of those longer paragraphs in your reviews. I make a 7-8 minute video and afterwards my throat is so freaking sore like you would not believe. I guess it's not a good idea to drink Shasta cola when you're trying to record a voice over.

Oh, also I've been wondering! What kind of camera do you use? I've been looking into getting one but I don't really know what I'm looking for.

airforceone said...

Awwww what? I was expecting a review with Todd. Why would he laugh especially when he does "Let's Plays" of children story books with Pushing Up Roses.

The Artwork of the first Kiss reminds me of Spawn the early years. Good review.

Elliot said...

Ultraverse!! I can't believe you haven't gotten to some of this stuff yet. You could do a special on Black September and the marvel destruction... I mean, acquisition.

Speaking of, did you hear that Crossgen is apparently coming back?

Jeff said...

FYI, Gene Simmons' son is a comic book plagiarist.

Also, you might be interested in this article which contains a story about a meeting between Haim Saban and Gene Simmons.

A classic Hollywood story involves Gene Simmons of Kiss. In the late ’90s, as co-owner of the Fox Family Channel, Saban was developing shows for children. Simmons, the fire-breathing, blood-spitting frontman of a rock band in costumes and face paint, pitched Saban an idea for a new Saturday-morning cartoon: Kiss meets X-Men, the Marvel comics superhero team. Saban liked the concept well enough to convene a meeting with Avi Arad, then C.E.O. of Marvel’s toy division.

At the appointed time, Saban, Arad, and Simmons sat down. The meeting was going well, and the three began to haggle over numbers. Then Saban turned to Arad and, referring to Simmons, confided in Hebrew, “Now we gut him like a fish.” Without missing a beat, Simmons—who, unbeknownst to Saban, was born Chaim Witz in Haifa, Israel—replied in Hebrew, “You ass­hole. I’m one of you.”

When asked about this story, Simmons laughs and says he “vaguely” remembers “something along those lines.”
Saban says he has no memory of the conversation but acknowledges it “may have” taken place. “People I deal with, for the most part, are very smart people,” he adds. “I mean, sometimes I gut them like a fish, and sometimes they gut me like a fish, you know?”

FugueforFrog said...

Is it just me or did that "Kiss" review make me think of everyone but Kiss? Seriously, I had thoughts in that review of The Police, Meat Loaf, Billy Joel, ELO, the resurrected body of Kurt Cobain and...yes, Warrior...than I did of Kiss. Heck, 4K would feel like a good companion to read alongside Warrior due to the WTF-ery both seemed to give regarding alternate universes.

Oh...and for some reason the first comic gave me deja vu considering I just saw "Circus of Fear" this weekend...rather underrated Christopher Lee movie that has nothing to do with this comic except it also takes place at a circus and has a hot young Susan Kendall.

Anonymous said...

I live down in Houston and we have Rodeo going on...KISS will be in concert March 16th!!!
Just thought ya'll like to know!!!

Jesse said...

This was more fun than I thought it would be.

I'm probably the only person that likes JLA: Act of God, so I think I'll go snag that cover. Thanks for letting us know they were for sale.

Anonymous said...

Wait, was the poem you read suppose to be the second part of the poem you read in silent hill, or is it seperate?

Anonymous said...

Platinum is bad about paying it's people... Now why does that sound so familiar... Hmmm... Oh yeah, Dreamwave.

The Grumpy Celt said...

I am a child of the 70s (as compared to all the children of the 80s around here) and I remember as a little boy having vivid nightmares about Kiss stepping on me in those spiked boots they wore. As an adult the band strikes me as a one-note wonder which managed to stick around for a long time.

Cubey said...

Todd was a jerk in his cameo. >:|
Okay, I realize it's all the script. Kayfabe!

On review proper: God. Drunk Duck. I would never admit to owning this site, in public or in private.

Both reviewed comics make much more sense if you assume the main characters (whether the kid or KISS themselves) are high as a kite and the comic is just them having a bad trip.

Lewis Lovhaug said...

"Wait, was the poem you read suppose to be the second part of the poem you read in silent hill, or is it seperate?"

Yep, it's the second part of the poem.

Tyr Germanic said...

man,these other people commenting acting musically inclined is weird,its like the kids that walk up to you when youre playing guitar at a party and ask you to
"do an arpeggio",the way they talk is awkward.

whos the history of kiss guy? your cousin?i dont even like kiss(except detroit rock city is a GREAT GREAT MOVIE),and i still know that has to be the worst brief history of kiss ever.

why didnt he mention that nobody liked them until they released the legendary ALIVE or ANYTHING about their live shit,which was a HUGE part of the phenomenon,or that very quickly they became a band only kids liked.

Im a straight up metalhead and while im not the best,ive been trained by perfectionists.

i dont want to,but i might try out for TGWTG just for the greater good...i mean fuck man,thats worse than when james rolfe talks about ive met 60 year olds that arent dumb enough to consider kiss hard rock.

you on the other hand,thumbs up and all that shit.
You realize AT4W has been on high note since OCTOBER?ya,it went Silent Hill event,origins month,xmas month,and ever since it was the Vyce event.and these last 2s length,quality and subject matter havent dropped the ball yeah,cool shit.

Mavrickindigo said...

Hurray no crappy storyline nonsense! This is what Atop the Fourth Wall Should be!

Anonymous said...

The part about digging-up the body of Kurt Cobain reminded me of secondary school

In our biology lab, we had a skeleton with a small hole in the back of it's skull. We all called him Kurt.
Seeing as the skeleton was with the school ever since the days of the Communist regime, he may have been a rebel at some point

Lizzie said...

My compliments to Todd, a delightful cameo.
Where were they GOING with these comics? Where CAN one go, really? Heh, sure there was some rambling narration, but it could have been "Warrior" level rambling.
As Invincible is the one comic I'll rave about to anyone who'll listen, I am compelled to say "Read it! What are you waiting for?!" My work here is done. ;)
Good times, sir.

Anonymous said...

hey linkara did you know there was a first person shooter based upon the psycho circus comic.

Zaki from Malaysia said...

To Linkara, in regards on comic companies such as Platinum.

Giving creators less to no pay is one thing, but the bigger picture is this:

What's with new comic publishers like Platinum & Radical setting themselves up for the sole purpose of turning their new IPs into movies just shortly after they're launched?

Shouldn't new comics mature & grow in enough time so that readers can get attached to them?

It's this cynical ploy by this new companies releasing new comics only for the sole purpose of just getting a sweet movie deal with the Big Names that's appalling,

Comics by aforementioned these days have been reduced nothing more than glorified storyboards & pitches, hoping to be picked by Hollywood bigwigs.

Rather than actually making actual work of art that readers can get into.

It's not just 2000's thing since Crossgen & Dreamwave. Liefeld & his kind has being doing bullcrap in the 90's as well.

What's your opinion on this, Linkara?

Kirbstomp13 said...

I have to say, '90s Kid's reunion bit was probably THE funniest thing I had seen in forever.

Anonymous said...

Well I am glad you finally got the clue and realized that the story lines were going nowhere. Also, having your GF fill in false accounts and fight your battles for you is kind of Spoonyish.

Lewis Lovhaug said...

"Well I am glad you finally got the clue and realized that the story lines were going nowhere."

Okay, first of all the storylines aren't going anywhere.


The majority of my fans enjoy the storylines, but the focus of the show is and always has been reviewing awful comic books. There's not a single episode of the show that DOESN'T contain a review. You don't like the storylines? Fine. I can't change that.

Right now, though, we had six episodes in a row that had a storyline focus at the beginning or end or both. As such, we're taking a break so people don't get overloaded on them. The storyline WILL continue, however.

"Also, having your GF fill in false accounts and fight your battles for you is kind of Spoonyish."

What the hell are you talking about? Are you insinuating that Liz is signing in under another account and arguing with trolls or something? I can assure you that that is ridiculous and it isn't happening. I don't need anyone to fight my battles for me and she knows that, nor does she care enough about trollish posts to do such a thing.

Plus I have a hard time believing that Scarlett did that on Spoony's site.

Sarah said...

"why didnt he mention that nobody liked them until they released the legendary ALIVE or ANYTHING about their live shit,which was a HUGE part of the phenomenon,or that very quickly they became a band only kids liked."

I believe Todd's part was supposed to be a BRIEF history on KISS, not an entire documentary. You have to remember, this is Linkara's review, anything else would have over- shadowed the review. He hit on key points about the band, not EVERYTHING, but this review is about the comic, not necessarily about the History of KISS. It's easy to get frustrated when someone talks about your favorite band, and maybe you think they left out parts, but it's also rather silly to waste energy being angry about it. I'm sure you do know a lot about KISS, but when you whine about it like that, your knowledge becomes irrelevant. In other words: Lighten up. Todd did a fine job in giving a *brief* history.

Captain Mac said...

Considering you now have a space ship and I just realised that the poem is basically Zagreus something i noticed you reference in a video ages ago in an 'EXTREME!!!!' section my mind is begining to fiz with what is happening in the entity story line, a peice of the world is missing? Very charley pollard and anti time, if you do follow the Zagreus principle i have a worrying feeling that the conclusion to that arc or maybe the whole of that arc might be angled toward the tragic rather then the staple of crazy awesome, ok I'm probably overthinking it but hey thats what the storyline is about, right?

Anonymous said...

See what you've done Linkara?
How many KISS haters you woke-up, who now try to kiss-up to you with their spiteful ramblings?

While I don't think KISS are musical geniuses, their music is still highly enjoyable and their stage-persona over-the-top
They knew it was going to sell, and they made use of it to the fullest.
MK can spare me his "better than you" pseudo-intellectual bullcrap he's trying to pull here

Also, following bands in music is just like following writers and artists in comics.
You should know the best how much crap you can get into when you just follow the characters.
That's probably the advantage of music, you can immediately tell whether a song sucks

The first story reminded me of a much better musician-based comic.
"The Last Temptation" written by Neil Gaiman and Staring Alice Cooper, based on the AC album of the same name.
I recommended reading it while listening to the album.

And finally, I wouldn't discard even the older Image stuff.
Spawn was enjoyable, and it is one of only three comics one of my friends is willing to read (other two being Batman and Spiderman)
Erik Larsen's Savage Dragon is just pure fun.
The Maxx (even thou you didn't get him) is a jewel onto itself
Also Neil Gaiman, Alan Moore, Garth Ennis and Warren Ellis all did great runs on their titles.
(for example Alan Moore's incredibly fun run on the WildC.A.T.S.)

Anonymous said...

meh, the PCP comics were allot worse than this

Sijo said...

Once again, a fun episode, Linkara (though once again, the damn thing unsynchronizes for me at some point, even at Blip.TV. I had to rewind to watch it fully.) Too bad, because your show is one of the highlights of my week, there must be way to fix that.

The gag with Todd was pretty funny too. Never heard of him before though. Then again I'm hardly a blogosphere expert. He sounds pretty good.

Like you, I don't follow performers, only their songs; I always felt that KISS was a silly act (but their songs were good.) These comics were boring and confusing, you should've reviewed the Marvel ones.

Say Linkara, have you ever done a "Worst Comics Ever" list? Because it would be interesting to see you explain, for example, why Cry For Justice is worse than One More Day.

Anyways, thanks to both you and Todd.

Stephen Murphy said...

Another great and funny review Linkara can't wait for the next one. These comics are so insane the Ultimate Warrior comics make a little more sense then these "little more sense" being the key words. Not to mention they are boring at least in the Ultimate Warrior comics you can get some enjoyment by laughing at them. Once again a another good review Linkara

EJ said...

Great review. Not a fan of KISS comics regardless. But if I were, i imagine these two would suck.

Jeremy A. Patterson said...

Malibu was the publisher of the earliest Image books!

Lewis: Will there be a new Odds and Ends post soon?


Jarkes said...

For the record, I actually like the storyline, but it's nice to take a break from it every now and then... Though the stinger at the end of Doctor Who Classics freaked me the f*** out.
Speaking of which, I watched all of your Countdown reviews a while back, and... wow. Your special effects have VASTLY improved since then.
Now, I have a question: When are you going to do another "Miller Time" episode?

Anonymous said...

Woot! Weird Al Yankovic was in there!
I'm going to see him live next week!

Yeah, I follow bands, not songs, but I follow comics characters not creators. Go figure.

Lewis, a suggestion:
Have you thought about doing a top fifteen of bad moments in otherwise good comics? The big one that springs to mind include Batman taking down the Justice League in Confidential (not a bad issue, but that scene was stupid up to 11).

NGT said...

That music of the night should really have lead to a clip of Corona's Rhythm of the Night rather than an MST3K one I think, but there you go.

+1 for the Kiss 40k. Inquisitor Starchild.

Furore said...

Sorry to be irrelevant, but I wish to be the one billionth person to poke you that you just got a shout out from sfdebris!

Oh. I would link you up but technical reasons.
So, um, Badd-Bing Badda-Bang. That's the best I can do.

Anyhoo, stay awesome Mr Fourth Wall. Or may I call you Atop The?
No, that would be stupid.

Monstermaster13 said...

Very good review. I'm a fan of KISS but i've never read the comics.

I don't think you may know this but there is n Alice Cooper comic as well.

If you can get a copy of it somewhere, you should review that one as well.

Anonymous said...

@mountain king
if you dont know about something then dont have such a bias and hypocritical view of it. I dont think someone can make such rash and harsh comments at something they know almost nothing about.

Im not a huge fan however i do know that they were not just "shouting about how great they are as they try to discover a cord" because Ace Frehley is actually a really good guitarist as well as Peter Criss being a very talented drummer i should know i have seen them live. And like I said if you knew anything about them basically the majority of their songs are adressed to the listener saying just have a good time, keep your chin up and grab life by the balls basically. Also Alice Cooper had elaborate stage shows as well and his music is amazing. Just cause a band does things out of the norm does not mean their trying to make up for musical ability its just a way to get noticed.

Also they were obviously doing something right if they were making so much money and became extremely popular. They are a talented band that had Gene Simmons who is a marketing genius that why you get these shitty Kiss comics haha he slapped the Kiss name on everything. But you know what? it sure made them alot of money and made them very very popular.

Going off topic here I personly hate Metallica. Blasphemy you say? well the funny thing is i can make a statment like that cause I actually know alot about them and i wouldnt say for example "Metallica sucks" because to be frank they dont I just dont prefer their newer music I like their old stuff and what I hate about them is that they sold out but thats just my opinion and I still listen to them cause well the music is good.

Jeremy A. Patterson said...

SDCC News Regarding KISS: In the pages of Archie #627, we will see the most unexpected team-up of all time: The Archie Gang Meets KISS!


Anonymous said...

"SDCC News Regarding KISS: ...the most unexpected team-up of all time: The Archie Gang Meets KISS!"

That's funny, because Archie has already met the Punisher. :D

Jeremy A. Patterson said...

Good news: IDW Publishing will be reprinting the two 1970s KISS Super Specials this June in 'KISS Greatest Hits Volume 1'


Jeremy A. Patterson said...

Did you guys check out the first issue of IDW Publishing's new ongoing series starring KISS?


Anonymous said...

Am I the only one who thinks the fortune teller kind of sounds like what Moarte's voice would be? Only without the Hank Ishtar impression thrown into the mix